Siskiyou County, with an area of 3040 square miles, lies along the northern boundary of California, and has Del Norte adjoining it on the west, Modoc on the east and Shasta and Trinity counties on the south.
It has an exceedingly broken and picturesque expanse of mountains, and canyons cut by many streams running westerly to the Klamath River and southward to the Sacramento River, the former stream
coursing through the county for 70 miles.

The most prominent mountain ranges are the Klamath, Scott and Salmon. Mount Shasta, in the southern part, having an elevation of 14,162 feet, is a noted landmark.
The Sierra Nevada lava sheet covers a portion of the eastern part of the county, forbidding both mining and agriculture.

The mineral wealth, which constitutes the basis of Siskiyou's prosperity, is concentrated in various belts and districts.
There are two main agricultural sections, the Scott and Shasta valleys, which afford supplies for the surrounding country.

Although the day of simple placer mining has passed, the auriferous gravels still provide the bulk of the county's gold output.
Gold dredging is being successfully pursued on McAdams Creek, near Fort Jones; and as there are many acres of gravel that will yield handsome returns by this method of mining, dredging bids fair to become one of the important industries of the county.

Hydraulic mining has been extensively pursued along the Klamath River and important tributaries, and large areas of pay gravel still remain to be worked. The old method of river mining by means of
wing-dams has practically passed out of existence.

Quartz mining, which really gives stability to the industry, has made wonderful strides in Siskiyou County during the past ten years, in spite of the lack of transportation facilities, especially railroads.

The Oregon branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad, which crosses the county, connects at Montague with the Yreka railroad, thus affording a rail connection for Yreka, the county seat. Wagon roads to the
remote mining districts are being constructed as rapidly as the funds of the county will permit.

The unusual strikes of "high grade" ore in the Salmon range, especially in the Homestake and Highland mines, has stimulated lode mining and given the county the publicity it deserves.
The Black Bear, with a production record of over $2,500,000, is the most noted gold quartz
producer in Siskiyou County. There are many prospects that should develop into producers with the expenditure of a moderate amount of money.

The conditions for mining are ideal, due to the abundance of both water and timber, and the California-Oregon Power Company affords cheap electrical power to many of the mining sections.

The minerals found within the borders of this county are many and widely distributed, among which may be enumerated, gold, platinum, silver, lead, chrome, copper, and coal.

There are several mineral springs also, the most famous being the Shasta, on the line of the
Oregon branch of the Southern Pacific railroad.


The formation and metalliferous belts of Siskiyou County are not so clearly defined as in the middle counties of the State; the Coast and Sierra Nevada ranges are here merged into one.
The strike of the stratification has been changed from west of north to north 20' east.

In the Klamath, Salmon and Scott ranges, the mountains are rough and sharply defined, and table lands are seldom seen, as sharp serrated ridges have replaced them, with deep gorges and precipitous canyons.

Geological And Topographical Features

Though the mountains of the western half belong to the Coast Range system, their general geological character is that of the Sierras, as granites, diorites and metamorphic slates and limestones, similar
to the latter mountain system, comprise their mass.
Between these western mountain systems and the lava beds, which cover a large area, including much of the drainage area of the Shasta and Little Shasta River and Cottonwood Creek

In the Shasta and Willow Creek valleys coal seams are found, stratified with the sandstone; these
seams of lignite (coal) of good quality, vary from a few inches to four feet in width and rest on a quartzite substratum, which formed the rim rock of the basin.

Following the quartzite in a westerly direction for about 1 mile, a belt of magnesian rocks containing iron is observed, which continues for some 2 miles, when the main gold-bearing belt of the region is


Klamath River

This river and its tributaries have been important agents in the distribution of placer gold throughout the country.
Its source is in the mountain ranges of Northern California and Southern Oregon, drawing from the Upper and Lower Klamath, Goose and Rhett lakes, and flowing southwesterly into the Pacific Ocean at a
point forming the western extremity of the dividing line between Del Norte and Humboldt Counties.

The length of the Klamath is some 362 miles, the average grade being 12 feet to the mile,70 miles of which is in Siskiyou County.

Gold is found wherever the river has deposited gravel, whether it be in an old channel a thousand feet above the present stream, or in the river bottom. Below the mouth of Scott River it has cut its way
through the northern end of the Coast Range practically at right angles to its trend, and runs through a narrow canyon from a few hundred to several thousand feet in depth, with banks as steep as the material
will stand and which are covered with a dense growth of timber and brush.

At Oak Bar, Happy Camp, Hamburg Bar, Orleans Bar and a few other points, the mountains recede far enough from the stream to admit of a few acres of level land being farmed; the rest of the country is too steep for cultivation.

Scott River

Scott River, one of the important tributaries of the Klamath, enters this stream in Sec. 6, T. 45 N., R. 10 W., M.D.M., at an elevation of 1650 feet above sea level.

It has a length of 61 miles, an average course of 20' to the northwest, and is fed by a watershed area of 812 square miles, with 26 miles of tributaries.

This stream flows through the mineral districts of Oro Fino, Quartz Valley, Callahan and Scott Bar In the vicinity of Callahan, on the headwaters of this stream and especially on the South Fork, rich deposits of gravel are found.

Below Callahan the river runs through a portion of Scott Valley, a rich and fertile plateau, which is successfully cultivated, and in which are situated the flourishing  towns of Etna and Fort Jones.

The lower end of the river, for about 4 miles above its mouth, runs through a canyon, and here gold is found in the benches on the hillsides and in bars in the river. Scott Bar, in the center of this district and 2 miles from the mouth of Scott River, is the village from which supplies are distributed to the adjacent

McAdams Creek

This stream, a branch of Moffat Creek, tributary to Scott River, rises in the Forest Mountain Range and flows in a southerly direction. The placer ground on this creek, from its source to its junction, a distance
of some 10 miles, has been rich, but the valley expands and the soil deepens so rapidly that only shallow depths were worked. It is good dredging ground, however, and the lower end of the stream is being worked by this method of mining.

Yreka Creek

Yreka Creek, some 10 miles in length, rises in the Forest Mountains, flows in a northerly direction and empties into the Shasta River in Sec. 1, T. 45 N., R. 7 W., M. D. M. It is fed by several tributaries
and has been an important gold producer in the past. Near Hawkinsville, 2 miles northeast of Yreka, the county seat, the valley is over 1 mile wide, and there is still a large area of auriferous gravel unworked, due to overburden and difficulty of drainage.
Hydraulic elevators have been employed, with but poor success. The scarcity of water has also
been another serious handicap.

Indian Creek

Indian Creek, a tributary to the Klamath River, rises in the lofty snow-clad peaks of the Siskiyou Mountain Range, near the boundary line between California and Oregon.
It has a length of 16 miles, flows in a southeasterly direction, and its tributaries, east and west, embrace
14 miles; its watershed area covers 144 square miles.

Placer deposits are found along the entire length of Indian Creek. Happy Camp, a village on the west bank of the Klamath River at the junction of the Klamath and Indian Creek, is the distributing point for the country generally between Hamburg and Orleans Bar.

Beaver Creek

This stream, a tributary to the Klamath River, rises in the Siskiyou Mountain Range, near Mount Sterling. It has a length of 12 miles, a general southwesterly course and is fed by the north and south forks of Hungary (sic) Creek, Bumble Bee, West Fork of Beaver and other smaller creeks.

Placer mining has been pursued along these creeks for the past forty years, and although worked in a crude way considerable gold has been produced.
The formations consist of granite, serpentine, slate and porphyrite-schist, cut by gold-bearing quartz ledges and porphyry dikes, which have fed these watercourses for ages.

Hamburg Creek

Mountains and flows in a northeasterly direction. It has a length of some 10 miles and has been a noted producer of placer gold. Near its source the banks of this stream are steep, the water being confined
in a well defined canyon, of heavy grade, but as it approaches the river it widens out, forming large bars, which have been extensively mined.

One claim of less than 7 acres has been constantly worked for the last thirty-five years, the output to date exceeding $260,000.
Other creeks in this section tributary to the Klamath and which have been noted placer producers are Little Humbug and Barkhouse.

From the head of Little Humbug over $2,000,000 was extracted by ground sluicing, and there is still considerable virgin ground to be worked, especially near its mouth, but there is only sufficient water in
this creek to allow a two or three months' run each year.

Barkhouse, the next creek below Little Humbug, has also been a noted producer, but mining operations are limited on account of the scarcity of water.

Mineral Production of Siskiyou County from 1894 to 1913

Substances                           1894                         1895                                 1896

Gold                                 $700,781 83           $950,006 43                 $1,091,264 82
Platinum                                    600 00
Silver                                    60,000.00
Mineral waters                                                      80,800 00

Totals                              $761,381 83         $1,030,983 73                  $1,091,917 47

Substances                             1897                        1898                                  1899

Gold                                 $842,123 00            $768,804 00                     $991,771 00
Silver                                            34 00                      321 00                               100 00

Totals                                $842,157 00           $769,125 00                      $991,871 00

Substances                            1900                        1901                                   1902

Gold                                 $951,397 00           $886,043 00                        $906,989 00
Silver                                    13,986 00                  6,408 00                                  233 00
Mineral water                       45,000 00             175,000 00                           187,500 00

Totals                            $1,010,883 00       $1,067,451 00                       $1,094,745 00

Substances                             1903                      1904                  1905                       1906

Gold                                $613,576 00           $892,685 00        $803,035 00
Silver                                           22 00                  1,230 00              2,499 00 
Mineral water                     50,000 00                 50,000 00
Platinum                                                                                          21 00 93 00
Sandstone                                                               1,250 00          $ 1,500 00

Totals                              $663,598 00             $943,936 00      $806,877 00          $1,500 00

Substances                                1907                       1908                                1909

Copper                                                                      $39 00 
Gold                                      398,017 00       $504,156 00                        $416,160 00
Lead                                             140 00                 183 00                                  144 00
Lime                                          1,000 00              1,680 00                                  300 00
Limestone                                    300 00                                                            2,200 00
Mineral water                         36,250 00            80,000 00                             10,000 00
Rubble                                    39,000 00                                                                500 00
Sandstone                             12,897 00               1,485 00                               1,750 00
Silver                                        3,037 00               6,125 00                               2,145 00
Pumice stone                                                                                                          500 00
Macadam                                                                                                             4,528 00
Unapportioned, 1900-1909, inclusive                                                     $1,202,742 00

Totals                                 $490,680 00         $593,629 00                    $1,640,969 00

Substances                         1910                         1911                                     1912

Crushed rock                 $9,475 00                    $6,580 00
Gems                              14,745 00                      1,000 00                           $250 00
Gold                              437,376 00                 422,297 00                      472,314 00
Lime                                        35 00                        120 0
Limestone                            525 00

Mineral water                   60,000 00                 120,000 00                      120,000 00
Sandstone                          2,000 00                         455 00                             250 00
Silver                                   2,322 00                      2,561 00                          2,980 00
Chrome                                                                                                              2,310 00
Stone industry                                                                                                       609 00

Totals                             $527,178 00              $553,037 00                    $598,713 00

Substances                                        1913

Coal                                               $1,500 00
Gems                                                  250 00
Gold                                           *180,125 00
Mineral water                             120,000 00
Pumice stone                                 2,000 00
Silver                                              *1,228 00
Stone industry                                 4,883 00

Total                                             309,986 00



Considerable float of chromite is found near the top of the Forest Mountains, in Sec. 13, T., 44 N., R. 8 W., Southern Pacific Railroad Company, owner; and in Sec. 18, T. 44 N., R. 7 W 

The country rock is serpentine; the chromite is found in relatively small pieces.
No development work has been done. Float of chromite is reported in the vicinity of the Dewey mine,
about 10 miles southwest of Gazelle.


T. T. Garvey, of Yreka, owns a large bank of reddish colored clay, containing some minute quartz pebbles, in Sec. 27, T. 45 N., R. 7 W., M.D.M. A good quality of brick has been manufactured and used in Yreka.

T. Hamilton, of Fort Jones, formerly made bricks from the surface clay from a deposit in Sec. 2, T. 43 N., R. 9 W.

T. A. Reynolds, of Fort Jones, had an old brick kiln, using surface clay, from a deposit in Sec. 11, T. 43 N., R. 9 W.

Peter Smith, of Etna, owns a bank of clay in Sec. 21, T. 42 N.,R. 9 W., M. D. M.
This deposit consists of 4 feet of clay of good quality, from which bricks were burned and used in buildings in Etna.

J. Walker, of Greenview, has a deposit of grayish colored clay of good quality, located in Sec. 32, T. 43 N., R. 9 W., M. D. M.; a good grade of bricks manufactured at one time.


The copper mines and prospects, while of recent development, are worthy of careful consideration, and are widely scattered over the central and northern portions of the county.

The formations in which these deposits occur are either peridotite or gabbro, or a metamorphic
schist overlying these eruptives, and several of the mountain peaks show the reddish-brown color which peridotite assumes in weathering.

In the Happy Camp district, which has been noted for its placer gold production, there are several prospects of merit; and one property, the Grey Eagle, has been developed into a copper mine of considerable magnitude, with a large tonnage of ore blocked out

Note:  1913 mining report

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